Last week's victory over West Bromwich Albion was huge for Newcastle United, it was most definitely a game that both teams knew they could win and more importantly had to win. For WBA it was an opportunity to jump off the bottom of the table and to bring another team hovering nervously above the drop within reach and pile the pressure on a Newcastle team short on confidence and short of a manager.
With the early morning news of Joe Kinnear being taken to a local Birmingham hospital after falling ill at the team hotel over night filtering around the terraces and the dressing rooms, the Newcastle players could have been forgiven of thinking "Here we go again."
With the stinging parting shots from Shay Given still ringing in the ears at board room level and the less than positive financial news coming out of St James Park the last thing the club needed was a huge relegation scrap at the Hawthorns.
To the credit of the players and especially the new arrivals they all roll up their sleeves and showed every Newcastle fan they wanted to play for the club and wanted get the club out of the mess it is in on the field, what happens behind the scenes remain out of their control.
With the news emerging on Friday that Kinnear had undergone a triple heart bypass operation, Newcastle have once again been presented with a management problem. Do they opt for the joint option of Chris Hughton and Colin Calderwood or do they go and get a manager that will be there for the long haul?
Kinnear has yet to sign the long term deal that was offered to him in January and he has shown he lacks the ability to take the club forward long term, his record since taking over has been nothing other than relegation form, hence the position Newcastle find themselves in.
While I want to see Joe Kinnear back to full health as soon as possible, Newcastle have to think about what is right for them at this stage.
Relegation would be a disaster and would draw comparisons of when Leeds United slipped out of the top flight. The club must look to bring in someone who can ensure top flight status and put their own plan in action to take the club forward.
If Mike Ashley is serious about trying to make peace with the fans he upset over the Keegan saga, he must install a permanant manager and back him in the summer with the funds to compete for a place in Europe.
It has been mentioned this week that Newcastle want to follow the business model of Aston Villa, this is all good an well but the Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner has not been afraid to back HIS manager.
I highlight the word HIS, because Randy Lerner has complete faith in Martin O'Neill. Mike Ashley has to install a manager he has the same level of trust in if he wants to use their business model.
I understand that un like Ashley when Lerner took charge of Aston Villa they had a small squad and he did not have to deal with an inflated wage bill being made up of mainly over paid fringe players from the past regime. This enabled him and O'Neill to start with a fresh base to build from.
Providing Newcastle remain a Premier League club, this summer must see a huge rebuild take place of a squad that is in desperate need of new players and fresh ideas from a manager who will be given time to put things into place.
The likes of Geremi, Enrique, Duff, Ameobi, Viduka are bit part players who are being paid big wages and with the expected departure of Owen the squad will be trimmed and the wage bill cut.
A club statement last week highlighted the club now own all of their players outright and have made £8 million available for summer transfers before the possible departure of any of above named.
With all this in mind Mike Ashley must realise a new permanant manager is needed to ensure all of the above can take place.